Here are some activities for teaching More, Less, and Same in Pre-K and Preschool.
Find more math ideas on the Math Resource Page
Pocket Chart Graph
We make several pocket chart graphs during the year. Sometimes we make a graph where children choose their favorite thing (for example, their favorite ice cream flavor). Sometimes we make a graph where children are asked a question with a yes or no answer (for example, “Do you like pizza?”). We often graph to see how many people did or did not like the book we read that day.
This is a game played with a small group of children. The group is divided into two teams. Each team has a giant game die. One child on each team tosses their dice and says the amount. The group decides which die has the most dots.
Print and make your own Giant Dice at this link.
Spray paint lima beans with two colors so that they have one color on each side. Place ten beans in a cup. Children dump the beans onto a mat (I used a sheet of craft foam for the mat). They count each color to see how many beans landed on the red side and how many landed on the blue side. They compare to see which colors have the most, least, or same amount.
Regular playing cards can be used for this game or they can be made with stickers or stamps. Children play this game with one partner. Each child should have a set of cards that represent numbers 1-10, and each child’s cards should be different in some way (e.g. a different color or different picture). To play the game, each child takes the first card from their stack and places it on the table. The children determine which card has the most or same amount. The child whose card has the most wins that round and gets to keep both cards. If the cards are the same, they tie and each child keeps their own card. I have the children place the cards they win in a plastic basket so they won’t get mixed up with their other cards. At the end, the children can count to see how many cards they won, but my students seem to enjoy the game more if we don’t determine who won or lost at the end.
Ice Cube Tray Graph
We use an ice cube tray for a hands-on graph. I place several kinds of counters into a sorting tray. You can use counters of different types or all one type but different colors. Children roll a game die, determine the amount, and count out that amount of counters to place in the graph. I teach them to start at the bottom of the graph and go up the column when they place the counters. They roll the die a second time, determine the amount and place a different type of counters in the second column of the graph. Children look at the graph to determine which has the most, least, or same amount.
Block Building Game
Children roll a game die, determine the amount, and count out that many wooden cubes to stack into a tower. The die is rolled again to make a second tower. The children compare the towers to see which has the most, least, or same amount.
Don’t miss the math resource page!